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Wrestler of the Year.

There were several stand out wrestlers this year. Randy Orton prooved he is more than just a third generation superstar by having some of the best matches of the year. He didn't wrestle for half of the year but Kurt Angle gave us 100% every time he stepped in the ring. Triple H was back on good form this year and gave some great match of the year canidates. Shawn Michaels was another who we all loved watching, and Eddie Gurrero earned the respect of everybody with great matches even through all the stress. But my pick, a man I do not like much but respect tonnes, is Chris Benoit. He gave us everything we could ask of him and more. He earned what he deserved after 18 years. The first half of 2004 was the best time of his life, he piled up victory after victory, won and retained the world title against two of the best ever in HHH and HBK, and proved he was for real. His momentum died down a bit when he dropped the title to Orton at Summerslam, but fans didnt stop cheering him and he even went on to win the Tag Titles by himself. A great wrestler but I do not see him becoming champion again.

Winner: Chris Benoit
Runner Up: Randy Orton

Match of the Year.

Sadly, most of the best matches of the year took place over on the raw side, but smackdown still had some worthwhile ones here and there. But there is only one match worthy of match of the year title, and that is Triple H vs Shawn Michaels vs Chris Benoit at Wrestlemania XX. The match had it all. A great build up, three of the best wrestlers in the world, the biggest title in the world, some excellent table bumps, a solid crowd, and a clean finish where the underdog made the champion tap out.
There Backlash encounter was great aswell.

Winner: Triple H vs Shawn Michaels vs Chris Benoit at WMXX.
Runner Up: Triple H vs Shawn Michaels vs Chris Benoit at Backlash.

Fued of the year.

A hard choice here. Not a lot of people liked it, but I thought the JBL vs Eddie Gurrero fued was entertaining even though Bradshaw resorted to cheap heat tactics like racism and fake heart attacks. Also JBL vs Undertaker was a good one as we saw a comedy side of Bradshaw with his neck brace!! Hilarious! Eugene vs Eric Bischoff made for some entertaining TV, as did Lita vs Trish Stratus. But my pick has got to be Triple H vs Shawn Michaels. Whenever they were in the ring together they put on the best match possible, and their 47 minute collision inside the hell in the cell at Bad Blood was the best match of their entire fued. Two friends turned bitter enemys was the most outstanding fued of the year.

Winner: Triple H vs Shawn Michaels
Runner Up: Undertaker vs JBL

Babyface of the Year

Another tough one as crowds were really into a good few people this year. The Undertaker returned from the dead and evrey time his gong went off and the lights dimmed the crowd would scream. Chris Jericho turned from heel to face and the masses could not get enough of him. Somehow, when Big Show returned he managed to be cheered. John Cena elected a healthy pop whenever he entered the arena. Randy Orton split from Evalution and went face but it still doesnt seem quite right yet and it seems he was better as a heel. And Eugene really got the fans attention and loved him. However, the two biggest babyfaces of the year would have to be Chris Benoit and Eddie Gurrero. The sight of the two of them standing together in the ring following wrestlemania was an emotional sight. They both represented what a face should represent. Work Hard and you will acheive your goals. And I know it seems a bit unfair, but as Eddie is the more charismatic of the two, im awarding babyface of the year to him.

Winner: Eddie Gurrero
Runner Up: Chris Benoit

Heel of the Year.

To many rookies came in that were portrayed as bad guys but where really just muscled up goons. (Think poem reading physco Heindenrich). So we'll stick to the classics and not all these sad rookie heels we hate. Triple H played a great heel the entire year, always going for Benoits title and manipulating poor Eugene. Kane destroyed Lita and Matt Hardys life, and was damn entertaining the entire time!! Trish Stratus had a whale of a time in her new heel character and helped change the womans division again. Christian stepped up as someone not to be messed with. Over on Smackdown, JBL took the oppurtunity of a lifetime when the roster weakend and became one of the best heels ever in my opinion as a self made millionaire who was obnoxious and cocky and could really make the crowd hate him. Kurt Angle made for a crap GM but was still a great heel between the ropes, and even the Dudleys reinvigorated there characters with the help of the great Paul Heyman. But above all, HHH is still the greatest heel around! The fans hate him again for all the right reasons, he is arrogant, he is manipulating, he beats up there favoirite superstars, and he does it all with a smile on his face!!

Winner: Triple H
Runner Up: JBL

Return of the Year

The Undertaker returned after months off playing mind games with Kane. Im just going to give this one to the Undertaker. Need I explain why? He has returned to the old deadman character we all love so much. He has lasted this long. We love him. We really love him. Edge will be my second choice as he is hilarious these days and his matches are some of the best I have seen from him since his 2002 stuff with Kurt.

Winner: Undertaker
Runner Up: Edge

Breakout Superstar of the Year

Who improved the most in 2004? Who took the ball and ran with it? Who spent years at the bottom of the card working rubbish matches with a tired out gimmick? Only to go on and become one of the most entertaing personalities on televison all year AND win the wwe championship, AND hold it for over seven months (the longest title reign of 2004 if I am not mistaken) AND he is still holding it heading into 2005. Yup, John Bradshaw Layfield is the clear winner here. Admit it, his matches have improved so much this year, and his charater must have grown on you over the past six months. He is one of the best on Smackdown!
Shelton Benjaman is the runner up here. He beat HHH twice and won the Intercontinental title off Chris Jericho. Also we know fans have taken to him becuase they wanted to see him face Jericho at Taboo Tuesday. So hes improved and I see 2005 being a storming year for him. I hope we can say the same for his former tag team partner Charlie Hass.

Winner: JBL
Runner Up: Shelton Benjaman

Tag Team of the Year

oooooo its been a very bad year in the tag team division. There has really only been one team on Raw who we can call a 'tag team' and that is the god awful La Resistance. Other teams are just two wrestlers that were thrown together. Tajiri and Rhyno. Hurricane and Rosey. Edge and Chris Benoit. Over on Smackdown things were even worse. Kinky teams like The Bashams, Rico and Charlie Hass and crap teams like Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi (a four year old act), things were bleak in the division. At least Charlie and Rico were moderatly entertaining. And I thought Billy Gunn and Bob Holly made a great team but managment never gave them much of a chance. At least the Dudleys became entertaining again but at the moment we are not seeing them on TV. But all is not lost! RVD and Rey Mysterio make a fun team and continue to bond well. And Kenzo Suzuki and Renee Dupree made an entertaining couple. Sadly, these two teams were just put together because managment has no clue what to do with them. Out of all the catagories, this may be the hardest choice. Ill go with La Resistance simply because they are the only team who are really a tag team. RVD and Rey Mysterio come in a close second as they continue to work well together.

Winners: La Resistance
Runners Up: RVD and Rey Mysterio

PPV of the Year

Wrestlemania 20 was off the charts baby!! Some say it was disappointing but I loved every minute of it!! Backlash is in second because it is the card that will be remembered for Randy Orton prooving he was great, and Benoit prooving he was real.

Winner: Wrestlemania 20
Runner up: Backlash

Character of the Year

The two most obvious choices here are 1: Eugene and 2: JBL. Eugene captured the audiences hearts in a way no one would ever have thougt possible with such a gimmick. He debuted in April. We thought hed b gone by June. Instead he became one of WWE's best characters and even picked up a win over HHH and the tag team titles with William Regal. And Ive already said plenty about JBL for you to know Im a huge fan of his. And we can't forget some of the other great characters of the year. Gene Stitsky is slowly getting fans approval. Hedenrichs matches suck but his poem reading is still scary. Ric Flair is still stylin and profilin! And The Undertaker has made a triumphant return. Still, the character of the year awarf has to go to Eugene, who has captured everybodys heart.

Winner: Eugene
Runner Up: JBL

Most Abysmal Wrestler of the Year

Oh where to start?? So many talentless big men brought up from OVW that it nearly killed the roster. Gene Stitsky, Hedenrich, Jesus, Carlito Cool, Luther Reigns, Mark Jindrak, Orlando Jordan, Garrison Cade, Rosey, Rikishi and Tyson Tomko are all god awful wrestlers. Then there is all the diva search divas who have been hired while talented ladies like Gail Kim, Jazz and Nidia were let go. Im gonna give Hedenrich the award here as he doesnt deserve to be in a main event program with The Undertaker. Hedenrich doesnt even deserve to be in the main event of heat! And no, i dont think JBL deserves the award. He is a done a remarkable job of transforming himself into a main event heel and his match quilaty has certainly improved. So he gets to stay out of this one.

Winner: Hedenrich
Runner Up: Tyson Tomko

Most Abysmal Match of the Year

Instead of writing my comments here, Im just gonna list my top 5 worst matches of the year and be confident youll more or less agree with me.

1: Tyson Tomko vs Steven Richards (Unforgiven)
2: Christy Hemme vs Carmella (Taboo Tuesday)
3: Undertaker vs Hedenrich (Survivor Series)
4: Tyson Tomko vs Chris Jericho (Bad Blood)
5: John Cena vs Carlito Cool (Post No Mercy Smackdown)

Commentator/Backstage Announcer of the Year

When it comes to calling the moves the best action around, Tazz is da man baby!! He is constanly entertaining and we all loves his 'tales of the tape' and 'keys to victory'. Josh Matthews also earned my respect this year when he improved his interviewing skills and got involved in the JBL/Booker-T fued. Jim Ross needs to be pensioned off now as we can always predict the next thing he will say so no way does he get my vote. And The King can be funny when he tries, but ditto JR. The Raw anouncers need replaced now. Jesse the Body Ventura and Tom Prichard would be good replacements in my opinion. Prichard should never have been fired. He was one of the most influential men in the WWE. Oh and Coach?? No no! Nothing but a popcorn fart!!!

Winner: Tazz
Runner Up: Josh Matthews

And Finally...


The award for who we are most happy to be rid of. Ha! Easily Bill Goldberg! The WWE version of Goldberg flat out sucked. Admit it. And after all the hype for his match with Lesnar (wholl ill get to in a minute) at Wrestlemania, it was ruined by Goldbergs selfishness. I hope we never hear from him again. As for Lesnar, he is nothing more than an ungreatful crybaby who needs a beating from someone. And I mean a real good beating. The WWE gave him security on a red carpet and he left it for NFL. After everything WWE did for him and he left on the biggest WWEPPV ever! There is talk of him returning, personally I hope he does not. I know WWE needs some big names back at the moment, but Lesnar. Nahhhhhh. Forget him. All he will do is have himself built up, earn some hefty paycheques then walk on us again. Oh, and Im glad to be rid of ATrain aswell. At least when he appeared on TV he could have wore a shirt and long trousers. Gross!!

Winner: Goldberg
Runner Up (Although not by much): Brock Lesnar.

I Hope you have enjoyed my awards column, and I will be writing more columns in the future and one day hope to become a real columinist for respected websites such as The Wrestling Voice and Wrestling Exposed.

In Closing, Have a Safe and Happy New Year. And Keep on Woooooooooooooooooing!
Darren Kane
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